Wednesday, November 19, 2014

College Football Playoff Committee: Message Sent

The Playoff Committee sent a clear message regarding their opinion of conference strength


Even though the SEC went 0-2 in BCS Bowls last year and the conferences best Non Conference win for 2014 is against Kansas State, the latest version of the College Football Playoff Committee standings have been released and the message is loud and clear, in their eyes the SEC still reigns supreme. Though I have a "slightly" difference of opinion I do agree with 75% of their Top-4 so lets get started with where they got it right and where they got it wrong:

Right: Alabama, Oregon, and FSU as Top-4 teams seems right on the money to me. I don't agree with the order but hard to argue against any of them at this point unless your name is Baylor. 

Wrong: Mississippi State as #4 is flat out ludicrous to me. If you look deeper into this team you will find a team that not only was dominated by the Tide from a "game control" perspective but also showed they are not ready for the limelight by making mistake after mistake at crucial times throughout the game. In their first real test since they've been #1 the Bulldogs "bowed down" and let the Tide dictate the game. I would say this games final score indicates a closer contest than what actually played out on the field but maybe the committee understandably turned it off early. Alabama never seemed in doubt and Dak Prescott threw interceptions that had significant momentum shifts throughout the game. Furthermore if getting dominated by Bama wasn't enough, their three marquee and highly coveted wins all lost in very pedestrian fashion. Auburn was flat out dominated by a UGA team that lost to lowly South Carolina and Florida who is now looking for a new coach. Texas A&M lost to a Missouri team that has a loss to the worst team in the B1G in Indiana and finally LSU got shutout by an Arkansas team that hasn't won an SEC game in two years. So much for impressive right...well in the committees eyes apparently that equals a more impressive resume than their peers ... Now  I don't think Mississippi State is a bad team, but to me if we are considering resumes they don't match up with Ohio State, Baylor, or TCU because my message is "Beat Somebody who's proven to be somebody then lets talk about it". Mississippi State hasn't done that yet so putting them at #4 is the same as when everyone was rewarding Notre Dame for their close loss to FSU. 

"That Ain't Right"(Not to be confused with wrong): Alongside the 2-loss teams behind Auburn and Georgia I'm just going to say that Baylor has the biggest gripe in the Top-10. They have quality wins vs #5 TCU and #21 Oklahoma. While TCU still looks like a great win now they can strengthen their resume vs K-State on December 6th and I believe they will. If I compare them to all the top 4 teams I could make an argument that Baylor should be even as high as #1 but their loss to WVU continues to haunt them each passing week similar to Ohio State's loss to Virginia Tech. For now though I believe the committee has it dead wrong with Baylor at #7 and I believe if they flip flopped Baylor with MSU they would've had it perfect...at least in the Top-4. 

Other Thoughts: Ole Miss at #8 seems high considering they are almost a perfect reflection of Arizona (Ole Miss and Arizona each have 1 quality win this season and nothing else of significance) but the Wildcats come in a lowly #15 .... Auburn seems really high at #14 as they have proven to be mediocre with losses to A&M and getting throttled by Georgia, can you imagine if UCLA lost consecutive games like that ... oh yah they did and fell out of the rankings with only 2-losses ... I would have Wisconsin between #10-13 as they look much better than Kansas St, Michigan St, Arizona St, and Auburn at this point in the season, however I understand the Badgers lost to a not very good LSU team earlier this season even though a fourth quarter appearance by Melvin Gordon could've changed things. 

Message Received: It's obvious that the committee is still sending the message it values the SEC over the other conferences and the proof is not only in the Top-4 but if you look at the highest 2-loss and 3-loss teams in the CFPC's rankings they are SEC teams. I think that is a bold statement and blatant oversight as parity is abundant, the consensus is there is no superior team this year, and the SEC's on field resume this year and last doesn't justify the ranking. The committee has said it will value non conference scheduling but that hasn't paid off in higher ranking for those that have scheduled tough so my question to the committee from other teams around the country would be "why put yourself through tough OOC Scheduling when the SEC schedules cupcakes and is rewarded for it in the rankings as a conference throughout the season". 

I know I Sound Like a "Hater" but Consider: If Ohio State would have scheduled Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, West Carolina, UT Martin, South Alabama, or UAB instead of Virginia Tech they would be ranked in the Top-4 and could be ranked #1 right now. If the PAC-12 scheduled only 8 conference games maybe Oregon would have missed Arizona (Different Divisions) and be ranked #1 right now. It seems to me as if the message the committee is sending is that the volume of unimpressive wins mixed with a few quasi quality wins is the correct formula to get their support. Furthermore league commissioners need to understand that its the perception of your conference having a lot of wins which is the ultimate leverage even if you don't prove it on the field against high quality competition.

Well Committee message received by this "idiot armchair quarterbacking fan" I just hope the rest of College Football has their eyes and ears open to the communication you are sending because at the end of the day its obvious that your criteria has a built-in geographic value...

2 comments:

  1. Well said. SEC teams start with the trophy and the committee pretends to find objective reasons to keep it there. The members start their Saturday morning watching SEC games and fall asleep halfway through the 4pm SEC game. That's all they know, and all they want to know.

    ReplyDelete